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Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,089 ratings  ·  82 reviews
A companion guidebook to the number-one bestselling Good to Great, focused on implementation of the flywheel concept, one of Jim Collins’ most memorable ideas that has been used across industries and the social sectors, and with startups.

The key to business success is not a single innovation or one plan. It is the act of turning the flywheel, slowly gaining momentum and ev
Paperback, 46 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Harper Business
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Carl Rannaberg
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book talks in detail about the concept of Flywheel introduced in Jim Collins' book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't which I highly recommend.

It provides 7 steps to capturing your own flywheel:
1. Create a list of significant replicable successes your enterprise has achieved.
2. Compile a list of failures and disappointments.
3. Compare the successes to the disappointments and ask, “What do these successes and disappointments tell us about the possible compon
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just ~30 pages long and covers the "flywheel effect" concept with the perfect amount of detail and case examples. ...more
Gene Babon
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: strategy
This book is an easy read. It is billed as a monograph to accompany Good to Great. So let's start with Good to Great, a five-star business classic by Jim Collins.

One of the core concepts of Good to Great revolves around ...
The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: The process of relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.
Once you succeed in generating flywheel momentum in your particular circumstance you can ac
Matt McAlear
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Always a solid read. Key takeaways for me that I haven't thought about before: I normally looked at the flywheel as just a momentum builder within an organization that continues to speed up. However, now I think a more true analogy to Jim Collins fly wheel is the addition of how each components that you put on the flywheel all build into each other and have an exponential effect on the sum. Reviewing your flywheel periodically to make sure that each segment builds into the next is probably a wis ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Features one solid idea (that a great strategy is a “flywheel” of interconnected sub-strategies), and doesn’t beat it to death. One of the very few business publications I have read that I wish to have been longer.
Phil Cebuhar
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
System based management turns momentum into progress, and progress into lasting impact. The FlyWheel system with its Disciplines and Principles help identify what is need to help any flywheel churn, and leave an astounding impact.
Amit Verma
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is monograph that is made as a little essay to accompany author's book, "Good to great."

It discusses flywheel concept of building a big enterprise based on few key steps which are interrelated and influential on each other.
Big corporations make a good flywheel, stick to it, renovate it, turn it repeatedly till they get breakthrough and momentum.
He also describes why companies fail and how great companies stay strong and becone bigger with time.
There are examples of big companies like App
Paweł Skorupiński
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very nice most recent summary of Jim Collins' concepts on greatness of enterprises and their leaders with the zoom on the concept of the flywheel - I would say, giving just enough information about it to inspire to think about one's own organisational or personal set of reoccurring actions indispensable for continuous growth.

The book is little in size and is meant to be read with another author's book, Good to Great. It will be a good add on for the ones knowing the school of Jim Collins. Will p
Mike Hales
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple, clear and easily applicable

Jim Collins' work is so well thought out that it naturally hangs together and make sense in a number of contexts. You could easily apply the flywheel idea to just about anything. It's not the model but the understanding of what you're applying it to that is really important. Especially important is that it's not a goal or state but a continual process.
Great reading.
Solid, simple, straightforward companion to Good to Great.

Thank you to Jim Collins, and a note to so many others: There is no need to write a book when a monograph will do. 5 stars for recognizing that.
Saurabh Kabra
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good expansion on a business metaphor with thorough research. Must read.
Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by James C. Collins introduces the flywheel effect. The idea behind the success of any organization big or small resembles not just focusing on a single goal, but keeping the flywheel in momentum. Imagine a flywheel that has a set of interdependent goals, such that starting one goal would trigger the other, and then another and so on. The need is an initial push (that is achieving every goal successfully) and then after a point, the fl ...more
Joshua Bradley
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good to Great is one of the best explorations of what it takes to create a truly successful business for longevity. In Turning the Flywheel, Collins focuses on one of his most tactical details from the book, distiling an incredible body of research into the best 45 minutes you could spend on your business's future. It might seem like an easy exercise to put together flywheel steps, but discounting the sophistication of the concept would be a mistake. The sequence of steps is vital to the flywhee ...more
Stephan Benzkofer
This book proved useful as a catalyst for a productive business discussion, which maybe means it merits a higher rating, but too many of the examples analyzing why successful companies were successful ended up just describing what they did well, not how they were able to accomplish that. For example, it explains that Amazon became a behemoth by creating a marketplace that offered cut-rate products. But the author doesn't try to explain how it accomplished that feat. (Maybe the author offers that ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turningtheflywheel is a short 40-page-book or even could be named as a chapter focusing on mainly flyingwheel concept!! It is a loop consisting of components which are feeding each other to make a faster and continuous endless spin until it stops, let me given an example; I buy books and become happier😊 the happier I am the more books I buy😳

Written by Jim Collins who is the author of "Good to Great" and has nice real life examples which enables reader to digest in an easy way, I highly recommend
Blaine Strickland
Listened to this short book via Audible. Read by the author in a slightly halting style. This is like a greatest hits album - if you have read Collins' other books, you will have already heard most of this material. I was about to give up on it until, he revisited the "get the right people on the bus" guidance for which he is so famous. I was reminded that "who" is more important than "what" - tying in with the Who Not How mantra made famous by Daniel Sullivan. I'd recommend this if you are not ...more
Ivan Chagas
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. How could you fit so much content in 46 pages? Jim Collins is probably my favorite non-fiction author. His work has impacted me in numerous ways and I have been carrying what I've learned throughtout my life and passed it on to others too. This book provides some further insights into his concept of the flywheel and how to achieve it in seven steps. This book is the perfect definition of going straight to the point, while keeping it substantiated and with leaving room for annotations for la ...more
Chad Saxton
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great look at the Flywheel from good to great.

This is a great reminder of how and why we need to build and keep our flywheel turning. The discipline we need to keep companies growing. We also need to stay focused on our core values and mission. While having an eye always on our BHAG and looking for sub flywheels that keep the big one turning. Great quick, powerfully packed read.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you follow enough Twitter accounts or business blogs, it's hard to miss the concept of a Flywheel. A Flywheel is a useful concept to look at capabilities and priorities of a company. To get a Flywheel to work, a company has to get every component of the wheel to work and each requires a set of capabilities.

Jim has another book that talks about this concept in details, but this one summarizes it very well. A quick read that can introduce more references and materials.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a fan of "Good to Great," you may want to follow up with this short monograph that further develops the flywheel concept. The examples include some tried-and-true companies like Vanguard, Intel, Amazon, but Collins also features unique flywheel examples like Ware Elementary School, Ojai Music Festival, and the Cleveland Clinic. Quick read! ...more
Eric Bowman
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A crisp refinement of the ideas in Good to Great

It’s compelling to read such a monograph, which reinforces the ideas from Good to Great (especially, as well as his other works), sharpening those points that were understated originally, and have proven to be especially relevant. Expensive per page, but also dense value per page.
Justin T Cooke
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a companion book to 'Good To Great' which is a fantastic book. Turning the Flywheel is only a short book with a single focus on the Flywheel concept.

I was able to take away one or two ideas so I found it a short worthwhile read. I can imagine that readers of Jim Collins other excellent books may be disappointed or feel short changed.
Scott Wozniak
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant addition to the work of Jim Collins. Not only does he cover what might be the most important part of a great company, but as a bonus at the end he includes a way of organizing all his work before this into one flow of ideas. A ton of really good stuff is packed into this little addendum.
Steven Willmott
Short, but really good focus on examples of concepts from Good to Great. In places the examples are a little general/glossed over but there is specific actionable stuff here to think about. Well worth it, especially if you liked Good to Great!
Wally Bock
Jim Collins writes great business books. He filled his books with clever analogies and penetrating insights. They’re all worth the price. This booklet is not.

See my full review at
Adam Ashton
Short book which is an add-on to a chapter of Good to Great. Only 20 or so pages so it gets to the point, but I’m not sure there’s enough juice here to justify the standalone book... liked the summary of all his work tying together at the end though, those 6 pages were worth the purchase
Mike Doel
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great summary

Having read some of Collins’ books previously, there was some ground covered here that I was already familiar with. But, having a nice concise summary of the material will prove useful to me.
George Braica
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Principles

Loved the easy analogies, examples, and especially the visuals to enhance understanding of the concept. A great teacher is one can that put in a picture, drawing or schematic any principle they teach. Love it!
Sadie-jane (Say-dee-Jane) Nunis
i'll be honest i haven't read his good to great yet so when i read this i found it interesting enough to want to read it now.
it's a think read obviously but don't be deceived.
maximise it by reading both and it's for everyone - across industries, regardless of whether you're an MNC or SME.
V. Sean
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Refresher!

A must read for all those in leadership. This monograph outlines the practices to follow in order to define and refine your companies flywheel. I’ve even using these principals for years within my company as well as those I have worked with.
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Jim Collins published later works as James C. Collins

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“For a truly great company, the Big Thing is never any specific line of business or product or idea or invention. The Big Thing is your underlying flywheel architecture, properly conceived” 3 likes
“The flywheel, when properly conceived and executed, creates both continuity and change. On the one hand, you need to stay with a flywheel long enough to get its full compounding effect. On the other hand, to keep the flywheel spinning, you need to continually renew, and improve each and every component.” 1 likes
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